Level Up Your Love Language: Exploring The World of Relationship Expressions

broken heart relationships

Relationship expressions are nifty phrases that help you communicate your feelings, whether it’s love, friendship, or something a bit more complicated.

Want to dive deeper into this essential part of English vocabulary? Read on to become a pro at relationship expressions.

What are relationship expressions?

Relationship expressions are the bread and butter of interpersonal communication. They are words and phrases used to describe how you feel about someone, or how they feel about you.

But why are they important? Well, they can help you express the deep connections and trust you feel for other people, whether it’s in romantic relationships or among friends.

You may already know these, but if you want to refresh your memory, check out our Mini English lesson to explore some of the most common relationship phrases: 10 relationship expressions in English – a Mini English Lesson.

Expand your vocabulary with these relationship phrases

Whether you’re talking about a romantic partner or lifelong friend, these positive and negative relationship phrases and their definitions will help express yourself more clearly and genuinely.

10 Positive relationship expressions

“Head over heels”

When you are really in love with someone.
Example: “Tommy is head over heels in love with Gina.”


Someone so physically attractive that they become an object of desire and captivate everyone around them.
Example: “Brad Pitt is such a heartthrob.”

“Get on like a house on fire”

Getting on really well with someone.
Example: “Louise and Becky get on like a house on fire.”

“Go back a long way”

A long-standing relationship or friendship with someone that you have known for a while.
Example: “James and David met in school as children; they go back a long way.”

“Go out (with)”

Another way to say that you are in a relationship with (or “dating”) someone.
Example: “Thomas really wants to go out with Lizzy.”

“Like chalk and cheese”

Two people who are very different from each other but who still have a strong relationship.
Example: “Rocky and Jemima are like chalk and cheese, but their relationship is going well.”

“Summer fling”

A short-lived, often seasonal romantic relationship.
Example: “I had a summer fling with someone I met at the beach.”

“Take your breath away”

Someone who impresses or surprises you so much that you are momentarily rendered speechless.
Example: “She walked in and instantly took my breath away.”


To be infatuated with, captivated by, or attracted to another person.
Example: “Dante and Robyn met on a dating app and are smitten with each other!”

“Have a soft spot” for someone

Being fond of someone, often in a way you can’t fully explain.
Example: “She has a soft spot for you.”

10 Negative relationship expressions

“Bad blood”

Resentment or hostility between individuals or groups.
Example: “There has been bad blood between the two families for years.”

“Break up”

To end a romantic relationship.
Example: “It’s not working out between us, I think we should break up.”

“A broken heart”

Feeling immense grief or sadness, usually due to the end of a relationship or the loss of a loved one.
Example: “The sudden end of Guillermo’s relationship left him with a broken heart.”

“Getting on my nerves”

To be annoyed or irritated by someone.
Example: “Alex is really getting on my nerves.”

“On the rocks”

When a relationship is experiencing problems.
Example: “Denise and Carmen’s marriage is on the rocks.”

Be “at loggerheads”

To strongly disagree or clash with someone.
Example: “The committee were at loggerheads over this new social media policy.”

“Get off on the wrong foot”

To start off a new relationship or interaction badly.
Example: “I think we got off on the wrong foot yesterday.”

Give someone “the cold shoulder”

To intentionally ignore somebody and refuse to speak to them.
Example: “Sven is giving Hannah the cold shoulder because she upset him.”

“Sworn enemies”

A long-standing and intense rivalry.
Example: “Sheila and Saira are sworn enemies.”

“Rub someone up the wrong way”

To annoy or irritate someone, sometimes without meaning to.
Example: “Amir really rubs his brother up the wrong way.”

Put your new vocabulary skills to the test

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to enrich your love language and interpersonal communication skills even further. Our experienced teachers at the British Council English Online are here to help you.

Not only will you gain a robust vocabulary, but you’ll also have the chance to practice these newly-learned relationship expressions in a variety of settings—be it in group classes with fellow learners or in heartfelt conversations with loved ones.

With courses available 24/7 and tailored to meet your needs, you’re just a click away from mastering English.

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